I’ve got a couple things I’d like to do with a Verde, like maybe a simple security system, some IP cameras and exterior lighting control. I can place the controller centrally, and then hopefully cover the front and back of the house (light switches). We also have a detached garage with my office over it and would like to make sure the ZWave devices work there.
Is there anyway to verify that I’m not exceeding the distance of the hwardware before purchasing all of the equipment and getting it all wired in.
There’s no easy way to know for sure what your range will be because every circumstance is different. Indeed, you could have a perfectly working system today and after your neighbor turns on their new 900MHz device, there is suddenly enough interference to halve your range.
I think the cheapest possible way to try it out and see for yourself sould be to start with a GE/Jasco 45600 Z-Wave Basic Handheld Remote (I’ve seen these for as little as $5) and a plugin lamp/appliance module like the GE/Jasco 45603 Appliance Module or the GE/Jasco 45604 Outdoor Module.
You can plug in the module in a desired location and then see how far way you can move with the remote and still activate the plugin module. As I described previously, it still doesn’t guarantee you success, but it can tell you with certainty if the distance is too far.
Thanks for the thoughts. The appliance module looks like it would be useful anyway, so that may not be too bad. And the handheld controller is cheap enough, I don’t mind. So it doesn’t sound like too much out of pocket to test with.
What’s the best way to deal with 2 separate “zones” that can’t be reached via the mesh zwave network? I’m assuming I’m not the only one possibly dealing with separate building that they’d like to have sync’d and controlled together somehow? If I had to guess, the main house will all be ok connectivity-wise, its the back detached garage/office that’s going to be the problematic part. Wifi works fine between building, if that matters.
The best way to handle “two zones”, or Z-Wave networks is to use two or more Veras and Vera bridging. In this scenario each Vera controls the devices within its network’s radio range, but can also send and receive control messages to other Veras over the TCP/IP network.
That WiFi works between buildings doesn’t really tell you enough to know if Z-Wave will work. They use different frequencies, different power levels and the devices have varying radio frequency(RF) sensitivities. All you can do is know that, on average, Z-Wave reaches about 100’ with clear line of sight and about 40’ with a couple of thin walls in between. Then build your network from there, based on trial and error. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring an RF engineer to do a site survey and spectrum analysis as you would for a large scale RF installation.
Ok, so worst case, just a 2nd controller. Not ideal, but at least the infrastructure wouldn’t be totally segmented. That’s good.
One last thing - the ZWave devices act as repeaters, right? so if the controller is at the center of the house and I have a light switch near the back door, I get a boost from that zwave device heading out back further?
[quote=“heckofagator, post:5, topic:177083”]Ok, so worst case, just a 2nd controller. Not ideal, but at least the infrastructure wouldn’t be totally segmented. That’s good.
One last thing - the ZWave devices act as repeaters, right? so if the controller is at the center of the house and I have a light switch near the back door, I get a boost from that zwave device heading out back further?[/quote]
That is correct. Z-Wave devices participate in a meshed network where commands can be routed through several nodes to reach the final destination. There are exceptions, such as battery operated devices, that do participate as routers. But, don’t worry about that stuff before you begin.
Thanks Z-Waver. You’ve been a big help.